Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sri Lankan Cutlets- Tuna Fish: Version 2 (Throwback Thursday)

2011 Photo
Sri Lankan Cutlets are a traditional party fare for any dinner or cocktail party.  My kids are huge fans of these breaded and fried little balls of savory goodness. You can make a cutlet with any meat/seafood you wish, but I really prefer the tuna fish variety.  I have made a very plain version of this cutlet in the early days of my blog, but I have been wanting to make my favorite version of this beloved appetizer/side dish/ snack for while now.  I could not fry these little balls fast enough for my family to enjoy.  My kids love to butter some bread and smash a cutlet between the slices of bread and eat them as sandwiches. Okay...I taught them that.  I have never met a person that did not love some variety of cutlets.  They are simply delectable!

 Note: Throwback Thursday is a new series where I take some of my original posts here on  Curry and Comfort and redo them so I can take better photos

3 (5-oz) cans of light tuna fish in water drained
1 medium onion finely chopped
1-2 green chillies finely chopped
2 boiled large white potatoes crushed
Small handful of curry leaves minced
Small handful of mint leaves minced
1 Tbs of ginger garlic paste (or 1/2 Tbs each separately)
1/2 medium lime juiced (about 2-3 tsp)
salt and a lot of black pepper
For breading and frying:
bread crumbs for breading
2 eggs beaten well
1/2 bottle of oil for frying (I used Canola)


Step 1:  Boil potatoes.  Peel and smash with a fork into a coarse mash.

Step 2: Cut onions, green chilies and curry leaves.  Heat 1Tbs of oil in a frying pan and add the onions, chilies, mint and curry leaves to fry.  Then add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for another minute.

Salt and pepper the onions and then add the 3 cans of tuna drained.  Then add the lime juice.

Add the boiled (mashed) potatoes and mix in well.

Mix together well and taste for the salt and pepper in the dish now that the potatoes have been added.

I like to give my cutlets a peppery kick so I'm heavy on the pepper.   Take off the stove and allow to cool completely so you can handle the mixture with your hands to form the cutlets
The breading deep frying process:

Time to form the cutlets. Grab a small handful and slowly form into balls (mine were about the size of a walnut). The most important part here is to make sure you don't have any cracks. If you have a crack then the cutlet will burst open when frying.

The egg wash: Beat 2 medium eggs together with a tablespoon of cool water for dipping the cutlets before breading.

Breadcrumbs: I made my own by grinding some heals of bread in the blender or you can buy prepared breadcrumbs.  I don't recommend using seasoned bread crumbs.

Once you have dipped the cutlets into the egg wash and then the bread crumbs, the breaded cutlets are all ready for frying. Get this all done before you move onto the frying.

Heat the oil in a deep enough pan that you immerse the entire cutlet for cooking.  I started heating my oil at a medium/high heat on my stove.  I first dropped a few breadcrumbs in the oil to see if the oil was hot enough for frying. Once they browned, I knew the oil was nice and hot. 
** you do not want the oil screaming hot where it's smoking. That will burn your cutlets.

 Once fried, drain cutlets on a paper towel.  I made about 28-30 cutlets total.  Serve hot or at room temperature. You can make large batches of these and freeze them as well.  Then you just have to defrost on the counter and put them in a warm oven to heat through.  Enjoy.

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  1. Oh yum! I know my kids would love these! I can't wait to try this. Little balls of yummyness :) I think I would prefer the tuna variety too. Thank you for sharing, Ramona!

  2. Yum! These cutlets are amazing. Such perfect little round balls and such a gorgeous anytime snack for a fried food junkie like me :-)

  3. Oh wow, these are really cool. I've never tried anything like this before. They look positively delish!

  4. Yum! These sound (and look) absolutely delicious. Sort of like croquettes (I think that's what my grandmother used to call them), but rounder, and more fun to eat. As it's been unusually warm here for the past few days, this is the perfect summer lunch treat for this weekend or maybe even for a picnic. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely weekend.

  5. Sri Lankan croquetas! YUM!! Do you need to refrigerate them before frying so that it dries a bit? The last time I made fried little balls like these, they were delicious, but kind of drooped apart once I dropped them into the fryer.

  6. Ramona, these look delicious and I am really going for the spices to kick it up a bit. I see 1-2 green chilis in there. How cool your kids like spicy mine do not, the grandkids I mean. We have to make two separate batches when adding peppers, LOL. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

  7. perfect for appetizer,no wonder your kids are huge fan,,,sound delicious !! have a great weekend !!


  8. What a beautiful combo - tuna and potatos in perfect little balls? WOW :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. Love these deep fried potato balls, and tun sounds like a delicious idea!

  10. Wow. This recipe is so unique and cool! I would love these little bites of yumminess. I hope you have a great weekend with the fam!

  11. Yummy, yummy, congrats on Top 9!

  12. Very nice. Congratulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!

  13. These are so fun! Congrats on top 9!

  14. Hi Ramona,

    I've been eyeing your cutlets since I saw the photo. They are a bit different than other cutlets or croquettes I've had, but look so delicious. Thanks for being a part of the YBR:) Have a great holiday.

  15. Hiya!

    First off, hello from ONTARIO, CANADA!!
    I used to work with a fella from Sri Lanka, and his wife used to make these meatballs that were TO DIE FOR :)

    I used to have the recipe but have since lost it. I do recall them being very spicy (peppery to me) and had potatoes in them. They ate them dry though, meaning with no sauce. They looked and tasted dry ...

    I have come across your blog via a search on the net. This post looks like the ones but we did not use fish but meat. Pehaps pork and or beef.

    Can u help me to substitute the fish for meat? Write me please at Lorraine


    1. Hi Lorraine, Yes you can substitute pork of beef. I will email you as well. :)

  16. I followed your instructions and it came out perfect. thank you so much.

  17. We would be all over these! Seriously, I would have to double up on the recipe. YUMZ!

  18. Those look incredible! Can't wait to try :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  19. I vaguely remember I've eaten them before. :) Have a great weekend!

  20. I always have tuna cans in my pantry and use occasionally in my cooking. Next time I should try your cutlets! I just love deep fried crispy texture!

  21. These look very crispy and very easy to overeat!!

  22. Hi Ramona how excited am I that I found your receipe for Sri ankan cutlets. In 1991 we had some very special Sri Lankan friends and they invited us to there daughters christening it was amazing, at the party they had these cutlets and I fell in love with them so they gave me the receipe and over the last 22 years I have made them for every occasion and everyone loves them. Unfortunately the receipe became very crumpled and unreadable. I am having a big party for Christmas and they will now be top of the menu thanks to you.
    A Big Thank You Yvonne.

    1. Hope they are as good as you remember. Enjoy and Merry Christmas. :)

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